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GO Bus service in Hamilton increasing in September

Photo from Metrolinx

The fall means changes to bus schedules, both for the HSR and GO Transit in Hamilton. While the extent of the minor changes to local bus service is still to be announced, GO Transit has released details for their fall service changes.

Beginning in September GO Transit will be increasing service to routes around the GTA including services to, from, and through Hamilton.

Below is a summary of the changes to services from GO Transit’s release.

HSR planning shuttles for Festival of Friends this weekend

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After decades emanating from Gage Park, for the last several years the Festival of Friends has taken place at the Ancaster Fair Grounds, which is notable in that it is inaccessible by transit. Route 44 RYMAL is the closest transit route to the fair grounds however it would require walking for about 15 minutes along a country road without sidewalks to reach your destination. Luckily the City of Hamilton felt it wise to run (revenue) shuttle service to the relocated festival.

With the return of the festival to Gage Park this year the city of Hamilton is once again running (revenue) shuttles to and from the Gage Park festival in a similar fashion to the Ticats Express shuttles which operate on gameday.

Full details of the shuttles can be found on the City of Hamilton website. It needs to be noted that the Festival of Friends express shuttles are not free will be regular HSR fare.

GO fare increase set for September 1st, 2017

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At the Metrolinx Board of Directors meeting on June 28, 2017, a fare increase was approved effective September 2nd, 2017.

Fares for trips that currently cost more than $5.02 with PRESTO and $5.65 without PRESTO will increase by approximately three per cent. Other fare types will also increase, including concession fares (senior and student fares), and package pricing (group fares and family fares).

There will be no increase on adult single fares for trips that currently cost $5.02 or less with PRESTO, or $5.65 or less with paper tickets.

Notice: Holiday Schedule for George Hamilton Day

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As a reminder, the Hamilton Street Railway will be operating on a holiday schedule for the George Hamilton Day (Civic) holiday holiday on August 7th. On this date many routes will be operating with reduced frequencies while some routes will not be operating at all.

The following routes will not be in service on this day:

Summer 2017 Schedule Changes

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The Hamilton Street Railway has issued the Summer 2017 edition of their quarterly Bus News online. There are changes to the schedules, including the return of summer service on multiple routes.

Below are the changes that will take effect Sunday June 25th, 2017.

Another summer of inadequate service coming for 56 CENTENNIAL

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On Sunday, June 25th the Hamilton Street Railway will switch to summer schedules. As per every year that means that many routes will adopt summer schedules which sees a reduction in frequencies. One such route is the north-south route on the edge of Stoney Creek, the 56 CENTENNIAL. However this reduction does at best a disservice since the route was changed in 2012.

Prior to 2012 route 56 was known as 56 CONFEDERATION PARK. The route was a summer only service which only ran during the summer months and only on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. The routing for this old route is the same as the current incarnation 56 CENTENNIAL except for two differences. The route did not service the Walmart Supercentre plaza as it did not exist previously and the route had far better service times.

Here’s a little bit of history.

As previously mentioned route 56 CONFEDERATION PARK only operated in the summer months on weekends. During this time the route ran on a 45 minute frequency between Eastgate Terminal and the Lakeland Pool loop, stopping at Wild Waterworks in both directions. The first bus departed Eastgate at 9:15 AM and the last bus headed towards the beach at 8:30 PM. The final departure headed back towards Eastgate from the Wild Waterworks waterpark in Confederation Park was 9:00 PM, a full hour after the waterpark closes in the summer.

2017 Victoria Day Fireworks – Dundas Driving Park

The Victoria Day Celebration and Fireworks is supported by the City of Hamilton and presented by The Dundas Valley Sunrise Rotary Club will take place on Monday, May 22nd at dusk. (The event was originally scheduled for Sunday but was postponed due to rain.) This is a free event but the Rotary club would appreciate cash donations at the gate to help finance the club’s local and international service work. Snacks, soft drinks and glow sticks are available for purchase before the fireworks begin.

Live music and food trucks will be on site starting at 6pm. Fireworks display will begin at 9:30pm, weather permitting.

For the last several years the HSR added extra buses on the 52 HEAD STREET branch of 5 DELAWARE to handle extra capacity to and from the fireworks. This added capacity is never confirmed ahead of time and this year will be no different.

HSR customer service had this to say earlier in the week, “Operations road supervision will supply whatever service they feel is necessary to accommodate any additional passenger loads.”

There are also no special HSR event shuttles for these fireworks.

To promote driving to the event the City of Hamilton will provide free parking at any one of the eight Dundas Municipal Parking lots

Niagara GO trains to skip Hamilton again in 2017 [UPDATED]

The West Harbour GO Station opened in the summer of 2015 for the Pan Am Games. The station initially opened in a partially finished position with much of the landscaping unfinished, some of the interiors not quite finished, and the parking facilities still under construction. Since then the station has been completed and is serviced by morning and peak trains on weekdays.

But one train that will once again not be making a stop at the station is the weekend Niagara GO train.

2017 promotional map for the Niagara seasonal GO Train service with Hamilton notably missing.

2017 promotional map for the Niagara seasonal GO Train service with Hamilton notably missing.

Notice: Holiday Schedule for Victoria Day Monday

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As a reminder, the Hamilton Street Railway will be operating on a holiday schedule for the Victoria Day holiday this Monday. On this date many routes will be operating with reduced frequencies while some routes will not be operating at all.

The following routes will not be in service Monday:



PRESTO Cards now available at Select Shoppers Drug Mart Stores in Toronto

HSR 1013 in a Presto full wrap

Metrolinx and the province are making steps to make the PRESTO fare card more accessible for purchasing, loading, and reloading. Today marks the launch of a trial for a third party vendor network in the GTA. If the test is successful it could be rolled out to the entire GTHA, including Hamilton.

Beginning today, customers will be able to buy, load, and set discounts for children, elementary and high school students and seniors on their PRESTO cards at 10 Shoppers Drug Mart locations across the city of Toronto, with more locations to be added later this year.

An up-to-date list of all PRESTO retail outlets is available at prestocard.ca.